Garstang ladies battle to Longridge victory

Garstang's man-of-the-match Lyndsey Hayes (left) on the attack
Garstang's man-of-the-match Lyndsey Hayes (left) on the attack

Garstang Ladies Hockey Club’s firsts were 2-1 winners against their Longridge counterparts on Saturday.

The match pitted third against fifth in the Northern League with third-placed Garstang starting the game in dominant form.

The first minute saw a reverse stick shot on goal by Rebecca Worthington before a Garstang penalty corner saw Alice Matthews’ shot parried by the Longridge keeper.

It fell to Worthington, who promptly collected her 11th goal of the season in giving Garstang the lead.

Longridge replied by forcing a penalty corner in the fourth minute, only for Garstang to defend well.

The game then became a midfield battle with Garstang being well held by a determined Longridge defence ready to press on the break.

Garstang gradually built a degree of ascendancy with penalty corners on 15 and 27 minutes but their passing skills, pace and stick skills were being held in check by a well organised Longridge side, who had some equally quick players.

Garstang started the second half with a bang and won a penalty corner after only one minute.

Matthews received the ball at the top of the D before taking it across and then placing a beautiful reverse stick shot to make it 2-0.

The midfield battle continued and Garstang were frustrated as they took too long to develop the ball and allowed Longridge to concentrate around the player in possession.

Lyndsey Hayes set a fine example to the junior players under pressure in midfield and deserved her subsequent man of the match award.

Garstang wasted a penalty corner on 10 minutes before seeing their lead cut seven minutes later.

A casual pass out of defence went straight to a Longridge forward who accepted the gift and drove into the D before placing an excellent shot just inside the post to make it 2-1.

Garstang became nervy and Longridge sensing an opportunity for a draw, put them under pressure and won a penalty corner after 22 minutes.

Garstang gradually fought back and held their line for a hard-earned win against a Longridge side which has been the strongest opponent in defence they have faced.